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Top films to see at the cinema this Christmas

From eagerly-anticipated sequels to farcical and festive comedies, check out which films are coming to cinemas for Christmas 2018.

Top films to see at the cinema this Christmas

It's that time of year again. The streets are alight and homes are decorated, as the build up to Christmas begins. So what better way to get into the festive spirit than being engrossed in the magic of the latest blockbuster? There may be plenty of Christmas classics integrated into regular TV programming, but a trip to the cinema is always more enchanting. And with these Christmas crackers hitting the big screens, there's even more reasons to head to the flicks. Take a look at what films are showing in the build up to Christmas below.

*We know not everyone is as obsessed with Christmas, so we've also thrown plenty of non-festive new releases in there too. 

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

A modern and magical take on Tschaikovsky’s powerful ballet sees a young Clara venture into a parallel world on a quest to find a special key. There, she encounters a soldier, Phillip, and they traverse across the Land of Snowflakes, Land of Sweets and Land of Flowers, before reaching the fourth realm ruled by the tyrannus Mother Ginger. Disney’s adaptation includes a star-studded lineup, with Keira Knightly playing the Sugar Plum Fairy, Helen Mirren as Mother Ginger, Morgan Freeman as Clara’s godfather and Mackenzie Foy (aka Edward and Bella’s lovechild in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2) as the lead.

The Nutcracker was released on the 2nd November and is showing in cinemas now.

The Grinch 

The Grinch

Another seasonal great, Dr Seuss’ infamous green Scrooge-esque character returns in this 3D animation produced by Illumination Entertainment. The Grinch and his dog Max live in isolation in the towering mountainous caves that overlook the town of Whoville. Filled with passionate revulsion towards Christmas, the Grinch attempts to mask as Santa Claus and destroy the Whoville’s festive celebrations. The third movie adaptation of the 1957 story features music from Danny Elfman and Tyler, the Creator, the narration of Pharrell Williams, and the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Angela Lansbury, Rashida Jones, and ‘Kenan and Kel’s’ Kenan Thompson.

The perfect interlude to the festive season, The Grinch opened in UK cinemas on 9th November.  

Suspiria 

A spooky alternative to the typical rom-coms and chirpy Christmas cheer, Suspiria stars Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton and Chloe Grace Moretz in Luca Guadagnino’s remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 film. The supernatural screamer surrounds a 1970’s dance academy ran by a coven of witches in Berlin. As a young, aspiring dancer enrolls at the academy, she quickly begins to uncover the dark secrets lurking underground. Vulture’s Emily Yoshida describes it as a ‘radical reimagining’ of Argento’s iconic flick, while The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw praised the leading actors and noted that while not terrifying to the core, Suspiria bursts with the sex and style anticipated in classic horror films.

The suspense of Suspiria unravels on 16th November as it hits UK cinemas.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Eddie Redmayne plays Newt Scamander once again in the second chapter of the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ trilogy. JK Rowling’s prequel to Harry Potter was also her screenwriting debut, with the release of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ in 2016. The Crimes of Grindelwald continues the plot, seeing Newt and Albus Dumbledore unite in an effort to thwart the rising of Gellert Grindelwald, who is now on the loose having escaped from prison. Redmayne is joined by Jude Law, Zoe Kravitz and Ezra Miller.

Enter the wonderful wizarding world of the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ at cinemas from 16th November.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web 

The Girl in the Spiders Web

This new edition of the Dragon Tattoo series is reviewed as lighter than its predecessor. Having vacated her role as Lisbeth Sandler, Rooney Mara is replaced by Claire Foy (The Crown) as the girl who avenges women that have been subjected to violence or abuse. Continuing on from the Millennium trilogy, the plot requires Sandler to tap into her hacking skills, leading her back to Stockholm to bring a vicious CEO to justice. The movie crosses genres of superhero and thrillers, while others have described it as having a ‘James Bond feel’. Foy has been praised for her characterisation of the social justice warrior, and is joined by LaKeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, and Sverrir Gudnason as ‘Mikael Blomkvist’.

Prepare for some serious girl power as cinemas welcome ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ from 21st November.

Robin Hood

A fresh remake of the man who steals from the rich and gives to the poor; Robin Hood is back but with a bit more angst and a bit more grit. Starring Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Golden Circle) as Robin of Loxley, the movie follows his revolt against the corrupt king with the help of his Moorish commander (Jamie Foxx). Tim Minchin and Jamie Dornan also star in this action-packed adventure, while Leonardo DiCaprio went behind the lens as producer. In addition to its cast, this darker version brandishes stunning choreography of fights and fantastic computer-generated battle scenes.

Sherwood’s legendary hero returns to cinemas from 21st November.

Nativity Rocks! This Ain’t No Silent Night

Britain’s answer to the US’ ‘School of Rock’, ‘Nativity Rocks’ revisits the staff and students at St Bernadette’s Primary School in Coventry. As the school gets ready to perform their rock music-themed musical in a competition to win Christmas Town of the Year, auditions get aggressive and problems arise. Celia Imrie will once again play Mrs Keen, Bernadette Primary’s Headmistress, joined by a flurry of British comic talents such as Simon Lipkin, Daniel Boys, Hugh Dennis and Helen George.

Prepare to sing out of tune as Nativity Rocks! is set for release on 23rd November.

Surviving Christmas 

The stars of Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey and 101 Dalmations unite in this seasonal family comedy. Joely Richardson, Julian Ovenden and Gemma Whelan all appear to bring the merriment, as the two leading ladies play sisters reunited for the holiday to celebrate in the home of their recently-deceased parents. Sibling rivalry flourishes and the pair and their extended families learn the hard way that families often need to fall apart before getting back together. A hilarious comedy complimented by superb casting makes for a perfect easy-watch this Christmas.

Catch the family feud in cinemas from 30th November.

Wreck it Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet

Wreck it Ralph 2

The Disney animation is the sequel to Wreck it Ralph, starring the voices of John C Riley and Sarah Silverman. From video games to the internet, Ralph and Vanellope must now step into the world wide web to find a replacement part for their arcade game. With no money to purchase it, the characters are required to compete in Slaughter Racing to raise funds, but come across problems that leaves Ralph wondering if the pair will ever return home. Along the way, they encounter many different characters and worlds, including Disney Princesses, Star Wars, The Muppets and Marvel comics. With plenty of star cameos and references to internet culture, the film is a great choice to unite the whole family for the Christmas holidays.

Make sure you’re logged in on 30th November as Wreck it Ralph comes to cinemas.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

This new animation was designed to make you feel as though you’d walked inside a comic book, with the largest animation crew ever used by Sony Pictures Imageworks to bring the masked superhero to life. Set in the shared multiverse ‘Spider-Verse’, the film centres around Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, who is the new Spiderman-in-training. Acting as mentors to help Morales develop his skills is a whole host of Spiders, including Peter Parker, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Noir and Spider-Ham. The groundbreaking film has been produced by the creative talents of The Lego Movie and 22 Jump Street and features a talented vocal cast, including Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, and Hailee Steinfeld.

Brush off the cobwebs, the Spider is back and hitting up cinemas from 14th December.

Mortal Engines

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, London is now a giant, travelling wheeled-machine that aims to devour and steal the resources from any city it comes across. Aboard the London engine, young Tom (Robert Sheehan) witnesses the attempted assassination of the powerful Thaddeus Valentine (Hugo Weaving). He gives chase to the masked girl Hester (Hera Hilmar), only to discover that she is the daughter of a woman murdered by Valentine who is seeking out revenge. She escapes by jumping off the vehicle, joined by Tom who has been thrown off by Valentine after revealing Hester’s identity. Together with the help of outlaw Jihae (Anna Fang), they must fend for themselves and lead the rebellion against the predatory London train. With a screenplay written behind the team of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, and an unparalleled and imaginative story, Mortal Engines is a must-see this Christmas.

All systems a go as Mortal Engines travels to cinemas from 14th December.

Aquaman

Aquaman

Jason Momoa stars as the title character in the first movie dedicated to the DC Comics superhero. He previously appeared in ‘Batman V Superman’ (2016) and ‘Justice League’ (2017), but this movie now centres around the half human - half Atlantean ‘Aquaman’, heir of the underwater realm of Atlantis. Having been raised on land as Arthur Curry, Aquaman must now battle for peace against rising conflicts between those living on the surface and those living under the sea, not to mention his half-brother Orm’s revolting aquatic army! The film stars Amber Heard as Aquaman’s love interest, Mera, Nicole Kidman as Aquaman and Orm’s Atlantean mother Queen Atlanta, Patrick Wilson as Orm and Willem Dafoe as Aquaman’s mentor, Nuidis Vulko.

Dive into the deep on 14th December when Aquaman swims into action on the big screen.

Mary Poppins Returns 

Mary Poppins returns

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Mary Poppins is back after 54 years, and so is Dick Van Dyke! The incredible, long-awaited and much-needed return of this magical musical is perhaps the best Christmas present we could wish for. In slightly turbulent political times, a spoonful of sugar is just what we need to sweeten the build up to Christmas, and the likes of Angela Lansbury, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth and Emily Blunt (Poppins) rolled together with Van Dyke has us grinning from ear-to-ear. In this sequel to Julie Andrews’ adored children’s classic, Poppins revisits Jane and Michael Banks, who now has his own three children and is much in need of a ‘Jolly Holiday’.

Mary Poppins has film blogger of Let's Go To The Movies, Caroline, excited for its release. "The film I am must looking forward to seeing is Mary Poppins Returns, I adore the original film and very curious to how this one will work out. Especially with Lin-Manuel Miranda and how he will bring his unique sound to the role of Bert."

Get ready to fly your kites as Mary Poppins lands on 21st December.

Bumblebee 

The sixth film from the Transformers saga and the prequel to the first release in 2007, Bumblebee rewinds the story and takes us back to the beginning. Set in 1987, a teenage girl Charlie Wilson stumbles upon Bumblebee, who has taken refuge in a junkyard, and takes him home. But similarly to the other movies, the government is quick to track them down and Wilson and Bee soon find themselves in a game of mouse and cat. Their journey also reveals the discovery of other transformers, some of whom have less that good intentions towards humans.

Transform your boxing day with the release of Bumblebee on the 26th December.

Holmes and Watson 

This delightful comedy pairing sees the ‘Step Brothers’ (2008) reunited in action again. Will Ferrell and John C. Riley take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic detective duo in this humorous adaptation, bringing their laugh out loud, slapstick hilarity to the celebrated literary characters of Holmes and Watson, respectively. The film follows their efforts to save the Queen from the treasonous Professor Moriarty (Ralph Fiennes), resulting in many embarrassing moments and close encounters. It also impressively integrates the line ‘No Shit, Sherlock’, which is likely the first occasion in any of the  Sherlock flicks.

Get clued in on 26th December as Sherlock and his sidekick hit the big screens.

To check out more cinema listings, times and dates, visit our cinema page to see what's showing near you.

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Written by
Aminah Barnes
Tuesday 20th November 2018